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Freight Train Blues Music Series
Music Maker Relief Foundation

Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don't tell what train I'm on
They won't know what route I've gone

 

Those are the opening lines to "Freight Train," a song written by young Elizabeth Cotten as she grew up in Carrboro, N.C., near the train depot that served as the town's early foundation. Railroads and Piedmont Blues are Carrboro traditions that continue to be celebrated in the annual Freight Train Blues Music Series.

Sexual Assault Cases Hinge On Evidence Gathered By Police, Nurses

54 minutes ago
Sherry Shepard and Karen Palm are sexual assault nurse examiners at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. Here Shepard and Palm display all of the components in a N.C. State Crime Lab sexual assault evidence collection kit.
Robert C. Reed / Hickory Daily Record

Sometimes the right evidence can make or break a sexual assault case.

Even when that evidence exists forensically or through witness testimony, the right circumstances make a difference, as do solid work by police, rape crisis advocates, medical professionals and prosecutors.

2019 Health Outcomes Ranking.
Robert Wood Johnsong Foundation / University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute

A lack of affordable housing drives down health and keeps North Carolinians in poverty, according to the latest annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline run through eight counties in Eastern North Carolina.
Roy Luck / Flickr/ Creative Commons

Gov. Roy Cooper’s handing of the permit process for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is under scrutiny.

New information from public records requests raises questions about the role he played in the dispute between Duke Energy and Strata Solar, a solar energy company that Cooper was once in business with and his brother continues to make money from. NC Insider Reporter Lauren Horsch combed through public records including Cooper’s schedule and e-mails and texts with his staff, which revealed a 2017 correspondence from the CEO of Strata Solar requesting that the governor make “a call to Duke leadership.”

students protesting with police officers in the foreground
Courtesy of the UNC-Chapel Hill University Libraries

Fifty years ago, food services workers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill went on strike for better wages and working conditions. The Black Student Movement supported the strike, which put a spotlight on labor and racial inequities at the university.

Image of writer Tayari Jones
Nina Subin

Tayari Jones is committed to writing about the South as she sees it. Her critically-acclaimed novels are all deeply rooted in Atlanta and explore the intersection of black family stories with the structures that define American life.

headshot of Chris Anglin
Courtesy of Chris Anglin

The race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District features a crowded field of Republicans, including one candidate the state GOP says is a Democrat in thin disguise.

Movies On The Radio: Tearjerkers!

Mar 18, 2019
Flickr/Creative Commons

Oh, is there something in your eye? It’s not your fault. Some movies are simply designed to be tearjerkers. 

 Maybe you wailed as a tween over Jack Dawson’s cold “Titanic” death, or needed a tissue to get through a classic like “Steel Magnolias.” Did your lip tremble as Simba and Mufasa frolicked as father and son in “The Lion King” without knowing the tragedy in store? Or is it injustice that elicits sobs when you watch scenes from “The Green Mile” or “Precious?”  

In this May 2, 2006, file photo, attorney Freda Black announces she will wait for all her results for Durham County District Attorney to be tallied during a gathering at the University Towers in Durham, N.C. An autopsy released Monday, March 18, 2019.
Sara D. Davis / AP

An autopsy says natural causes claimed the life of a North Carolina prosecutor found dead at home last year amid attention over "The Staircase" documentary series.

Duke University School of Medicine

Georgia Beasley was one of the most impressive athletes to come up through the Duke University women’s basketball program. When she graduated in 2001, she was part of the then-winningest senior class in its history, with 111 career victories. Beasley was named ACC Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001, and her performance led her to be drafted into the still-young WNBA. But Beasley always knew her remarkable sports career would not be a lifelong pursuit.

Duke University and freshman sensation Zion Williamson are 2019 ACC Tournament champions.
Nell Redmond / AP

The Atlantic Coast Conference comes into the NCAA Tournament with three No. 1 seeds. Putting three teams in the Final Four is a different matter.

East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton.
East Carolina University

The list of leaders who are departing the university system in North Carolina is growing. East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton announced this morning that he will resign his position.

Analysis: NC Convicts Fewer Than 1 In 4 Sexual Assault Defendants

Mar 18, 2019
Samantha White, of Cumberland County, survived a sexual assault as a teenager in Johnston County. She later testified against her attacker, her church pastor, resulting in his conviction and imprisonment.
Melissa Sue Gerrits / The Fayetteville Observer

Fewer than one in four defendants charged with sexual assault in North Carolina can expect to be convicted of that charge or a related reduced charge, and some parts of the state generate few if any sexual assault convictions, according to Carolina Public Press' analysis of state court data.

The picture is not universal. A few counties have conviction levels well above the state average.

Mariano Santillan / Carolina Public Press

Our series Seeking Conviction relies partly on an analysis of North Carolina criminal court records produced by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Court clerks in each of the state's 100 counties enter criminal and infraction data into a central system, which is basically a large filing cabinet for cases.

NCCU, Quiz Bowl, HBCU, Honda Campus All Star Challenge
Leoneda Inge

For 30 years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have gone head-to-head in a special competition to prove who can answer tough questions quick and hit buzzers fast.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The week in state politics included an appointment to the North Carolina Supreme Court, a new ranking on average teacher pay, and a surprising compromise between craft brewers and the North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association.

Chuck Burton / AP Photo

Just about everything at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on Thursday night was about Zion Williamson.

The Duke freshman's nearly flawless performance returning from injury had the college basketball world buzzing.

Thom Tillis speaking
http://thomtillis.com/

The Senate voted on a resolution to block President Trump’s national emergency declaration. Twelve Republican senators sided with Democrats, but North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis was not one of them, although he previously stated he would vote against the emergency declaration.

Courtesy of Lachlan Watson

Raleigh-native Lachlan Watson got their start in acting by being at the right place at the right time. As the smart, quirky kid who hung out at Burning Coal Theatre while their mom worked front of house, Watson got called in to play all kinds of roles, from a child in the throes of the Enron scandal to a dog. Their acting chops earned them many future roles including the titular part in “Henry VI,” but it was the experience of playing such a wide swath of characters that Watson says helped them learn to express their identity in an authentic way. 

Photo courtesy of David Wimbish.

Singer-songwriter David Wimbish had a tumultuous couple of years. He weathered a lengthy divorce process with his ex-wife and former bandmate, saw multiple friends pick up and move to the west coast and struggled through the near-dissolution of his large and boisterous band, The Collection. But Wimbish decidedly chooses gratitude over grumpiness. He used his enduring spirituality and awe for the natural world to start writing songs that would become The Collection’s latest record, “Entropy,” released in Oct. 2018. 

Public Domain / pxhere

Small North Carolina brewers and alcohol wholesalers raised glasses on Thursday to what they call a legislative compromise that allows the breweries to keep control of their products longer as they grow.

An image of John D. Loudermilk
UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries

We've teamed up with Come Hear NC on a podcast series that explores North Carolina music one song at a time. On this week's episode Rick Miller from the legendary Chapel Hill band Southern Culture On The Skids talks with Eric Hodge about John D. Loudermilk's 'Tobacco Road,' and the many, many times it has been covered. Be sure to stick around after the interview for a live version of Southern Culture on the Skids covering the song.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

 

Changing his vote from the public stance he took last month, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis voted Thursday to support President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to pay for his border wall.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

David Lewis is one of the most influential lawmakers at the North Carolina General Assembly. The nine-term Republican and House Rules chair from Harnett County joins the podcast to discuss a range of topics.

Rep. Lewis talks with Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about the latest appointment to the judiciary (starting at 2:57), redistricting (13:00), learning to live with a speech impediment (30:05) and the political middle (38:37).

The Cape Fear river continued to rise due to rainfall Hurricane Florence
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Six months ago Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas and doused the region for days with heavy rains. The historic storm broke 18 flood records across North Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Coastal communities remain in recovery mode, with businesses attempting to finish repairs by the next tourist season and residents still trying to navigate complex housing, insurance and unemployment processes.

The Hopscotch Music Festival turns 10 this year! To help kick off festivities the fest will be celebrating with a Halfway To Hopscotch party at R&D Brewing on Saturday, March 23rd. WUNC Music will be there, plus we'll be live streaming the event.

More information about the party, including a full list of vendors can be found here. Stop by and say hello!

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Court of Appeals Judge Mark Davis to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Davis succeeds Cheri Beasley who last month became the first African-American woman to serve as a supreme court justice for the state.

a photo of the border wall at Progresso, Texas
Susan Harbage Page

Susan Harbage Page has been a border crosser since childhood. From traveling around Europe with her family in a Volkswagen bus to working in Palestine in the 90s, she has long wondered about the lines that divide us. Why do people on one side enjoy great wealth while those on the other side have less?

Two men smiling and laughing next to each other
Laura Frankstone

What happens when a painter and a poet start working together on the same idea? North Carolina poet Jeffery Beam found out when he started collaborating with Welsh painter Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Both men had collaborated with other artists before — but never as they were creating the work side-by-side.

Bennett College has formally received a promised $500,000 grant from the Papa John’s Foundation to help maintain its accreditation.

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